SWDN: Your Community. Your News. Delivered.

by South West Durham News CIC in Shildon, County Durham, United Kingdom

SWDN: Your Community. Your News. Delivered.

Total raised £717

£4,000 target 18 days left
17% 64 supporters
Keep what you raise – this project will receive all pledges made by 1st July 2024 at 10:14am

Help us raise funds throughout the month of June and the first £2,000 we raise will be doubled by the Public Interest News Foundation.

by South West Durham News CIC in Shildon, County Durham, United Kingdom

South West Durham News is a small independent community newsroom which publishes four free to read local community newspapers in County Durham, delivered directly through letterboxes by our small army of paid deliverers to every home in their catchment area. 

  • Ferryhill & Chilton Chapter is delivered to approximately 8,000 homes every week.
  • Shildon & District Town Crier is delivered to approximately 6,000 homes every week.
  • Bishop Press is delivered to approximately 9,000 homes every fortnight.
  • Spennymoor News is delivered to approximately 10,700 homes every fortnight.

As a not-for-profit community interest company, you can be confident that every penny raised by South West Durham News is reinvested back into the community. 

At the moment, the majority of our revenue comes from advertising and we thank all businesses, locally and further afield, who support us. Their support ensures we're able to pay our bills week to week.  

Our Ambition

But we want to be able to do more than just keep our nose above the water. 

As well as celebrating all the good things happening in our communities, we want to be able to campaign on your behalf. We want to have your back when the chips are down and to be able to ask the tough questions to those in power. Without a local paper to hold power to account, who is there to support our communities? 

It is to our constant frustration that we see matters of concern raised in our communities, our help asked for, but find we don't currently have the resources to support those who contact us, and as a result, those concerns often go unanswered. We also know through experience that when we do get involved, those in power sit up and take notice. 

The best way for us to make sure that happens more often is to grow our staff. As a community organisation, we're not only committed, but believe it is our duty to provide opportunities to aspiring local journalists. And not just university graduates, but young people in our communities whose economic background excludes them from higher education, but doesn't dampen their innate desire to tell the stories that matter. 

We're also committed to paying, at a minimum, the Real Living Wage as set by the Living Wage Foundation, to our full-time staff, which is currently £12 per hour. The government's National Living Wage is set at £11.44 - and they only pay that figure to anyone over 21 years of age. It's a lot lower if you're younger. We won't be paying lower than £12 per hour, no matter your age. We believe that if you're old enough to work, you deserve to be paid the Real Living Wage, which is based on the actual cost of living in the current economic times. 

How you can help

Just look at the numbers of papers we deliver above. 

Our papers are distributed to over 30,000 homes per issue. If, every year during Indie News Week or the entire month of June, every home that receives a Ferryhill & Chilton Chapter, or Shildon Town Crier, or Bishop Press or Spennymoor News - if every home donated just £2 per household (not per person, just per household), we would receive an extra income of £60,000 per year. 

That's right, for just £2 a year, you could help us not only survive, but to thrive. Just imagine the difference your £2 donation, once a year, could make!  

And that's not all. We could see the first £2,000 of that revenue doubled by the Public Interest News Foundation, who are responsible for organising the Indie News Week campaign nationwide. They are supporting our newsroom with a pledge to match the first £2,000 of funding we raise during the month of June.

But we don't want to stop at £2,000 - we believe we can make a huge difference to our community by asking every household that receives our papers to chip in just £2 per year. 

Sustainability and employment

It would mean that we could afford to employ four apprentice journalists every year - one in each community we serve, while having funds left over to pay for long form journalism, investigations, funds to fully equip and maintain our newsroom, our podcasting studio and our YouTube studio, provide permanent full-time roles for some of our apprentices, up to date skills training for our staff, and make South West Durham News a sustainable community newsroom to keep you and future generations of your family informed and supported - some of whom will come and work for us at the beginning of their journalism journey and potentially for the longer term.

Local news is a vital asset for any community. Ask those who live in news deserts. Not only do people living in news deserts have next to no idea what's going on in their community, but community groups, local charities, local clubs and businesses have very little way of sharing what they are doing, and certainly don't have the ability to reach every family in every home. The knock-on effect can be devastating - not just for community groups and businesses, but also for your local democracy. 

Yet £2 a year can not only stop that from happening, it can ensure it never happens to your community. We're so lucky to have our local papers. We all know the phrase 'you don't know what you're missing until it's gone'.

Support us in June, during Indie News Week or any other time in the month, with a donation of just £2 and you'll be helping us to support you in the long term.


What payment options are there for donating?

Supporters can make a donation using all major credit/debit cards. Simple.

Can I donate anonymously?

Yes! Simply tick ‘Pledge anonymously’ when making your donation.

How can I get involved?

We need everyone to share this crowdfunder – please tweet, post on Facebook and tell your friends and family about us. Every penny counts.

How long is your campaign?

We are raising funds for Indie News Week throughout the month of June. Public Interest News Foundation has pledged to match the first £2,000 we raise during the month.

Who is South West Durham News?

SWDN is an entirely independent community interest company. That means we are legally a not-for-profit organisation and every penny made is invested back into producing an even better service for the local community. Our accounts are published at Companies House every year and available for everyone to read, free of charge.


This project offers rewards in return for your donation. Please select a reward below.

£2 or more

£2 Reward

We'll send you a personal thank you for your contribution.

£5 or more

£5 Reward

A personal thank you and an honourable mention on our Facebook pages.

£15 or more

£15 Reward

A personal thank you and an honourable mention on our Facebook and website.

£25 or more

£25 Reward

A personal thank you, an honourable mention on our Facebook and website and added to our Membership Scheme to receive an early PDF copy of all our papers.

£50 or more

£50 Reward

Everything above, our eternal gratitude and the knowledge that you are making an important contribution to the sustainability of your local community newspaper.

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